From the China Freedom Blog Alliance: Between Heaven and Earth reprints yours truly's call to keep the Olympics out of Beijing and comments on the hunger strike. The Korea Liberator ha the latest SNK news, takes another look behind the Communist Chinese curtain, laments another feed-the-Stalinists program, and wonders what the dovish South Korean government is thinking regarding military talks and Stalinist counterfeiting.
More on the hunger strike: The strike gets the attention of human rights attorney Clive Ansley (Boxun) and the Washington Post, while Gao Zhisheng (sixth, tenth, fifth, lead, third, last, twelfth, eighth, third, second, third, eighth, eleventh, eighth, fourth, fourth, last, fourth, fifth, twelfth, fifth, second, lead, next to last, seventh, last, next to last, lead, second, last, sixth, tenth, and eighth items), despite continued Communist harassment (Epoch Times), still found the time to speak up for appellants (Epoch Times) and eulogize his late mother (Epoch Times).
More on the satellite regimes: Kim Young jin continues Daily NK's series on the Stalinist prison system (third, fifth, tenth, second, second, and second items). Japan puts the names of two SNK abductors (second item) on Interpol (Washington Times). Yang Jung A, Daily NK, examines the latest political machinations between the American and South Korean militaries. Regarding Iran, while the U.S. tries to convince Communist China to puts its alliance with Iran aside (Washington Post) - and folks who should know better like Yonah Alexander and Milton Hoenig actually consider it possible (Washington Times) - the London Sunday Times discovers that the point-person for "regime change in Iran" is none other than Vice President Cheney's daughter (let's hope this means liberation is on the way).
Communist military budget rises nearly 15%: Communist China announced yet another double-digit increase in its defense spending; the new budget is 14.7% higher than last year (sixth paragraph). The continuing military buildup is starting to worry, among others, India (United Press Int'l via Washington Times) and Taiwan (Epoch Times). However, Sebastian Mallaby (Washington Post) doesn't even seem to notice; he's too fixated on commerce to worry about national security.
Ignorant Comment of the Day: Mallaby came close, but today's winner is Jonathan Eyal (Straits Times via Taiwan Security Research) for actually entertaining the notion that a free China would be more dangerous than the current Communist regime.
Communist economy to be world's largest in 2050, or crash: The accounting firm Pricewaterhouse declared that Communist China would "grow so fast that it could outstrip all developed nations by 2050" (BBC). However, as Parapundit founder Randall Parker (member since 2002) notes, the opinion on the Communist economy is far from unanimous, and many see a crash coming.
Communist China talking currency moves again: Communist central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan is hinting that the regime may build on the infinitesimal increase in its currency value (BBC). Of course, the last move was so small it did nothing for American manufacturers and non-Communist exporters to the U.S. who have been badly damaged by the deliberately devalued currency. However, it did enrich a bunch of corrupt cadres (seventh item).
Japan reopens talks on disputed East China Sea resources: Japan and Communist China are back at the negotiating table in the dispute over "oil and gas fields in the East China Sea" (BBC). The talks have been going on, without any progress, for months (see tenth, sixth, fourth, fourteenth, and third items).
Animal-rights groups protest Communist fur-farms: The animal-rights wing of the environmental movement burnished its anti-Communist credentials with a protest at the Communist embassy in London. Gary Sheen, of Essex Animal Freedom, explained the reason: "China produces 80 per cent of the world's fur" (Epoch Times). How is such fur produced? The answer, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, was gruesome: "Millions of dogs and cats in China are being bludgeoned, hanged, bled to death, and strangled with wire nooses so that their fur can be turned into trim and trinkets."
More on Communist China and the rest of the world: Polish President Lech Kaczynski finds much in common between his nation's Solidarity movement and the mass resignations from the Chinese Communist Party (Epoch Times). Daniel McKivergan, Worldwide Standard (Weekly Standard blog), notes concern over Russia by - of all people - the Council on Foreign Relations, and offers an important reminder that Communist China hasn't been much better: "They have refused, so far, to put the screws on North Korea; they have cut energy deals with Khartoum and Tehran; and they have opposed any real action in the UN Security Council to end the atrocities in Darfur or pressure Iran to come clean on its nuclear program."
Epoch Times reacts against Communist attacks: In reaction to the attack on Yuan Li (lead, second, sixth, and last items) and the break-in of its Hong Kong office (sixth item), the Epoch Times held a press conference demanding the attacks stop, as did Yuan himself. Stephen Gregory, Epoch Times English-language editor, puts the attacks in the context of the longer history of the Communist "gang."
More on the Communists' global reign of terror: The New American has a detailed examination of the Communists' crackdown against dissidents at home and their intimidation of activists abroad.
On the state of the workers in the workers' state: Communist China has seen the anger in the impoverished rural interior, and has responded by throwing money at the problem in the hopes it will go away (Time Asia). Communist Premier Wen Jiabao even had a fancy name for the plan: "new socialist countryside" (BBC). The peasants, however, would rather their local cadres stop stealing their land and lining their pockets (Time Asia) while violently crushing anyone who resists (Professor Lianjiang Li via Time Asia - who narrowly takes Enlightened Comment of the Day honors over the Calgary Sun's Ezra Levant). Meanwhile, a Qiqiha'er City hospital found the perfect cash cow - a patient who had supposedly received an intravenous drip and treatment for burns despite being dead for twelve days (Epoch Times).
Hong Kong pondering wiretap law: The Communist-appointed city regime "published a proposed wiretapping and covert surveillance bill" (UPI via Washington Times). Already, pro-democracy legislators are expressing alarm about the bill, which "opens the possibility that Beijing could help determine who might be targeted under the law." One country, one-and-a-half systems rolls on.